The University of New England has signed an articulation agreement with RG 146 training provider, Mentor Education Group, allowing Mentor graduates to knock up to 42 per cent off their financial planning degree.
If they apply for a Bachelor of Financial Services from UNE, Mentor graduates can receive between 33 per cent and 42 per cent advanced standing, depending on the level of RG 146 training.
The Financial Planning Association has been pushing for increased education standards for advisers for quite some time, recently announcing that from July 2013, new membership would only be open to planners with an approved university degree.
In April this year, when the Government announced the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms, it outlined the importance of increased professionalism in the financial planning industry through education.
However, managing director of Mentor Education Group, Mark Sinclair, said whether or not university articulation would become a trend would depend on the FOFA recommendations to the public.
“If the current RG 146 by [the Australian Securities and Investments Commission] continues to be required, but a centralised assessment is put in place, then university articulation is not necessarily as important,” Sinclair said.
“If the other option is adopted [university degrees for new entrants], then a pathway to a degree will be important,” he said.
Sinclair also noted that the FPA’s new membership criteria only targeted one section of the financial planning industry.
“To me it looks like it’s targeted at only new entrants to the industry, it doesn’t do anything to address the knowledge and skill level of existing advisers, so an education pathway to a degree is essential.”